Critical Theories and Internatonal Political Sociology – Prof. R B J Walker
The course of Prof. Walker will address International Relations and the challenge of interdisciplinarity, discussing sociology, politics and international as contested objects. In addition, he will discuss the places of science and criticism in the production of knowledge in International Relations, as well as question privilege, Eurocentrism and hegemony as research topics for an International Political Sociology.
RBJ Walker, professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, Canada, and in the IRI/PUC-RIO.
Security, Development, Democracy – Prof. Rita Abrahamsen
Profa. Abrahamsen’s course puts International Political Sociology into practice by examining particular sites of the international where global and local forms of power and authority intersect, combine, and compete. It does so by focusing on the merger of development and security, and the manner in which interventions in the name of security and development reorder and transform practices and politics in diverse African settings, empowering some actors and disempowering others. Combining theoretical engagement with grounded empirical investigation, the course examines how discourses and interventions are never simply imposed on passive recipients, but subject to translations, adaptations and power struggles. Politically the course examines the implications of the merger of development and security for democracy and freedom, and asks whether paradoxically a ‘new utopian militarism’ is strengthening the power and authority of securocrats in diverse African localities.
Rita Abrahamsen is Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa.
Contingent Flows – Precarious Lives – Prof. Michael J. Shapiro
Prof. Shapiro’s course focuses on the forces that set people in motion across land- and borderscapes and the precarities they face in the process of moving (as well as in their destinations). The course will begin with a focus on Russell Banks’ novel Continental Drift, which (decades ago) anticipated the issues surrounding the contemporary politics of immigration (to be read along with sections from Shapiro and Alker eds Challenging Boundaries: Global Flows and Territorial Identities). Thereafter we will share reactions to a variety of artistic and cultural texts that treat contemporary experiential (i.e., micropolitical) aspects of precarious movement.
Michael J. Shapiro is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His work is often described as “postdisciplinary”, drawing from such diverse fields as political philosophy, critical theory, cultural studies, etc.
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